Thursday, October 8, 2009

Final Years as a Dodger

Below are Steve's five Topps/OPC releases as a Dodger. I felt that Topps did a good job of selecting images with the exception of his 1982 base card.

1979 Topps #50 (front)
Sadly, this card is a double print. It seems that only slightly fewer of these were produced than Steve's 1987 Topps cards. I think the catcher is the Giants Marc Hill.

1979 Topps #50 (back)

1979 O-Pee-Chee #21 (front)

The O-Pee-Chee logo had a lot more style than the Topps logo in 1979.

1979 O-Pee-Chee #21 (back)

1980 Topps #290 (front)
This is another one of my favorite cards. It's probably because of the use of Primary Colors (Red and Yellow) that balance nicely against the Blue Dodgers jersey.

1980 Topps #290 (back)

1981 Topps # 530 (front)
This image was taken around the same time as Steve's 1982 Topps In Action Card.

1981 Topps # 530 (back)

1982 Topps # 179 (front)
This is my least favorite Topps card of Steve as a Dodger. Things I don't like about this card include: the Hockey Stick on the left side of the card, the pink and purple color pattern on the hockey stick, the fact that Steve's wearing a helmet that covers his ears and the fact that the card's image always seems a bit blurry to me.

1982 Topps # 179 (back)
As a kid, I was alway disappointed that Topps didn't produce World Series Cards from the 1981 World Series in their 1982 set as they had done with most of their sets during the past two decades.
1982 Topps In Action # 180 (front)

1982 Topps In Action # 180 (back)

1983 Topps # 610 (front)

1983 Topps # 610 (back)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

That's Odd?

This post is for all the oddball releases of Steve Garvey from the 1975-1979 with the exception of Kellogg's (which were in an earlier post) and the MSA Discs. Because there are so many of those round circles, I'm going to save them for another post.

My collection of these items is a work in progress as I still need quite a few items. When complete it'll include the following releases; 1975 SSPC & SSPC Puzzle Backs, 1976 Linnett Superstars, 1975-79 Hostess, 1977 Topps Cloth Stickers and 1979 Topps Comics (as well as anything else if I discover it exists).

1975 SSPC #77 (front)

This set is often called the "Pure Card" set because of the sets clean design. I believe it was produced by the same company (TCMA) that made various sets of Minor Leaguers and Retired Players during the 1970's and 1980's.

1975 SSPC #77 (back)

Many of the descriptions on the 1975 SSPC card backs were written by Keith Oberman.

1975 SSPC Puzzle Backs (front)

This card is over-sized.

1975 SSPC Puzzle Backs (back)

The puzzle on the back is of Nolan Ryan.

1976 Hostess #19 (front)

I remember checking the back of every box of Twinkies and Ding Dongs as a kid at my local Alpha Beta to try and find Steve Garvey on the back of a box. Once I found him, the challenge was convincing my mom to buy a box of Twinkies or Ding Dongs.

1976 Hostess #19 (back)

Hostess' backs were pretty boring compared to Kellogg's and Topps.

1979 Hostess #8 (front)

Here's Steve in the same pose as half of his Kellogg's cards.

1979 Hostess #8 (back)

1977 Topps Cloth Stickers # 19 (front)

This is a card that I always wanted as a kid but didn't get until a few years ago. I definitely need to get one that's in better condition as this one is fraying.

1977 Topps Cloth Stickers # 19 (back)

1979 Topps Comics #24 (front) - Note: Back is blank.

I remember collecting these as a kid. I probably put together ten sets as the set was small, the packs were cheap (5 cents per) and the gum was big and good. For whatever reason, the Eddie Murray comic was tough for me to get.

1977 7-11 Slurpee Checklist
Update: This came with a recent purchase. Sort of non-descript looking.

They're Great!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Probably like a lot of kids, I thought that the cards that Kellogg's produced were cool due to the high-tech 3-D graphics (at least for the late 1970's & early 1980's) that Xograph was able to produce for Kellogg's. In my opinion, the initial popularity of Sportflics in the mid 1980's was a result of attracting the customer base Kellogg's had built up.

Below are Steve Garvey's Kellogg's cards that were released intermittedly from 1975-1982.

1975 Kellogg's #17 (front)

Kellogg's cards over time had a tendency to curl and/or crack.

1975 Kellogg's #17 (back)

With the exception of 1981, all the Kellogg's cards are smaller in size than their Topps counterparts. Needless to say, that didn't stop them from loading up the back with interesting content.

1976 Kellogg's #54 (front)

Here's Steve in his signature batting pose. The same pose is used on many of his cards (i.e. 75 Topps, 78 Topps, 80 Topps, 82 Topps, 76 Kellogg's, 80 Kellogg's...etc)

1976 Kellogg's #54 (back)

Another well-designed card back.

1977 Kellogg's #14 (front)

When Steve wasn't practicing his batting stance, Kellogg's tended to photograph him bent on one knee with a baseball bat (i.e. see his 75, 77 and 81 cards)

1977 Kellogg's #14 (back)

I mentioned previously that Steve's batboy history is well-documented on his trading cards. The same goes for Steve's football career at Michigan State and the fact the he played in the "Game of the Century" in 1966 against Notre Dame.

1980 Kellogg's #31 (front)

After a two year break so that Kellogg's could produce cards of other deserving Dodgers, (i.e. Ron Cey, Don Sutton, Reggie Smith, Davey Lopes...etc), Kellogg's produced another card of Steve. This one reminds me of 1976 Kellogg's.

1980 Kellogg's #31 (back)
I remember getting this card as a kid because Raisin Bran was a favorite ceral of mine. I'm not 100% sure but I think that during some years Kellogg's cards were only available in one type of Kellogg's cereals (i.e. Raisin Bran, Frosted Flakes).

1981 Kellogg's #10 (front)

This is the only Kellogg's card that had the same dimensions as Topps Baseball cards. My guess is that Xograph went this route due to Fleer and Donruss entering the card market in 1981.

1981 Kellogg's #10 (back)

1982 Kellogg's #47 (front)

This was Kellogg's last Steve Garvey card as they didn't produce one for him in 1983 (Fernando Valenzuela and Pedro Guerrero had Dodger cards instead).

1982 Kellogg's #47 (back)

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Favorite Cards

As mentioned previously, I first started collecting baseball cards in 1975. From 1975 to 1978, I'd purchase baseball cards from either the corner liquor store or from the ice cream truck that drove through our neighborhood (My friends and I referred to the driver as Van). Unfortunately, in none of these years was I able to put together a compete set because I was only able to stretch my $1-$2 weekly allowance so far (Packs were 15-25 cents each back then).

With that said, each of the four Garvey base cards below is special to me for it's own reason. One of them in particular is my all-time favorite card.

1975 Topps #140 (Front)

I never pulled this card from a pack as a kid but it's still one of my favorites. I think it has to do with the primary colors and the NL All Star on the lower right hand corner.

A friend of mine named Byron took this card to one of those Iron-On Decal Shops that were all the rage in the late 1970's and made a T-Shirt with this card on the center.

Over ten years ago, Byron passed away from cancer much too young.

1975 Topps #140 (Back)

The fact that Steve Garvey was a batboy for the Dodgers got a lot of play through the years. It's mentioned on the cartoon on the back of this card.

1975 Topps Mini #140 (Front)

1975 Topps cards are condition sensitive because of their color borders. Many of the Steve Garvey cards had an additional problem of having a print spot on the tip of his nose.

1975 Topps Mini #140 (Back)

1975 Topps '74 N.L. Championships #460 (Front)

It wasn't until I was older that I considered this a Steve Garvey card because his name wasn't on the front of the card. It looks like Steve just hit a double or stole a base in the picture above. I believe the Pittsburgh Pirate pictured is Frank Tavares.

1975 Topps '74 N.L. Championships #460 (Back)

Steve had a great Game 4 (he hit two homers). For years, he was the NLCS' All-Time Career Home Run Leader.

1975 Topps 1974 Most Valuable Players Jeff Burroughs & Steve Garvey #212 (Front)

1975 Topps 1974 Most Valuable Players Jeff Burroughs & Steve Garvey #212 (Back)

1976 Topps Steve Garvey #150 (Front)

This is the first Steve Garvey card that I owned. I remember how I acquired it as I didn't pull it out of a pack. I was over at a friend's house and I traded him a bunch of cards (to get this one card) that I couldn't tell you today other than a 1976 Topps George Brett and Hank Aaron. While the trade today seems like a complete ripoff back in 1976 it was pretty fair in my mind because I was living in the San Fernando Valley which is the epicenter of the Dodgers L.A. fanbase and getting someone to trade you a Dodgers card much less Garvey was next to impossible.

As a follow up, I'd note that after I made the trade I put the card in my back pocket and by the time I got home the card was completely creased up.

Needless to say, this is my All-Time Favorite card of Steve's. I'm guessing it's probably because of the story above though it helps that the card has all three primary colors in it and utilizes the NL All Star in place of the generic player figures that were pictured on most 1976 Topps Cards.

1976 Topps Steve Garvey #150 (Back)

The cartoon on the back of this card about Lou Brock's Stolen Base Record, along with the 1979 Topps All-Time Leader Cards and the copy of the 1976 Baseball Encyclodia that my parents purchased for me help me become fascinated in baseball trivia

1977 Topps Steve Garvey #400 (Front)
This is the first Steve Garvey card that I ever pulled from a pack. A lot of these cards have print defects on the front of the card where a solid line breaks into the picture on the left side. The photo (along with his 1973 Topps Cards) appears to have been taken at Candlestick Park.

1977 Topps Steve Garvey #400 (Back)

Topps officially gave Steve Superstar Status in 1978 as his card # ends in double zero.

1978 Topps Steve Garvey #350 (Front)

This is the first card of Steve's that he ever autographed for me (I'll include it in a future blog).

1978 Topps Steve Garvey #350 (Back)

After six years of cartoons on the back of cards, Topps ditched them for some odd game that I never figured out how to play as a kid.

1978 O-Pee-Chee #190 (front)
All the OPC cards from 1975 - 1977 are on my want list. I'll add them to this post as I get them.

1978 O-Pee-Chee #190 (back)